A workshop on "Trends in Speciation Analysis" was held in Rome on 20-22 February 1994 with the support of the EC's specific programme of RTD in the field of measurements and testing. The determination of chemical species is nowadays performed routinely in many laboratories to control the quality of the environment (eg. tributyltin in water and sediment), food (eg. methyl-mercury in fish) and health (eg. Cr species at the workplace) and is considered in the frame of some EC Directives. The need for good quality control in speciation analysis has led the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) to organize series of inter-laboratory projects over the last five years, including the preparation of certified reference materials, for the improvement and quality assurance of these determinations. Classical techniques used in speciation analysis involve series of analytical steps such as extraction, derivization, separation and final detection. The multiplication of these steps often enhances the risks of error that may occur during the analytical process. A first workshop on "Improvement of Speciation Analysis in Environmental Matrices" was held in 1990 (Arcachon, France) by the BCR and the University of Bordeaux; its aim was to establish the state of the art of speciation analysis and to critically discuss the sources of error likely to occur at the different analytical steps. The successful outcome of these discussions was published in a special issue of "Mikrochimica Acta" (Vol. 109, No 1-4, 1992). Subsequently, the measurements and testing programme (BCR) organized a second workshop to discuss the progress made and the trends expected in this field. The 1994 Rome workshop covered the following topics: - Sampling and storage; - Extraction; - Derivization; - Separation; - Trends in hyphenated techniques. Highlights were the determinations of chemical species of aluminium, arsenic, chromium, germanium, mercury, lead, selenium, tin and metal-binding proteins by a variety of hyphenated techniques. Noticeable trends were the development of coupled high-performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry techniques, capillary electrophoresis and flow injection/micro-column based techniques. A selection of papers presented at the workshop will be published in special issues of "Applied Organometallic Chemistry" and "Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry".